It’s time to start over. I think we can all agree. This current state of affairs we are enduring with mandated social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, temperature taking, is taking a toll. We are all seeking to find the reset button to this business of COVID-19. How we got to this point doesn’t seem to matter as much as how we find a way to the other side. Amidst differing points of view and conflicting stories it is hard to know just where to get the facts that will help pull us through. It used to be that we could read two, perhaps three different newspapers – for those of us who remember what it was like to hold a newsprint in our hands – and varying our sources across three different agencies was enough to start forming an opinion for ourselves. Today the misinformation campaign is compounded by the relative ease with which people can take to the Internet and social media outlets to create content, spread stories and grab headlines. It begs the question, “What is news?” and how do we know that it is real in the modern world?
This issue of Lifelines Magazine attempts to bring different perspectives focusing on research regarding COVID-19. The hope is that if we all put our heads together and share the articles and sources of information that we regard as valid or pertinent we will have better tools to make informed decisions. It’s something that we should be doing anyway as consumers, as students, as citizens, but as health care providers in training it is even more important that we exercise this muscle early and often. As future chiropractors it is our duty to be the professionals in the room capable of critical thinking, able to sift through technical jargon, dense research and emerge from our studies with reasoned, researched and informed opinions pertinent to the concerns of our patients and our communities.
Take for example the fact that hydroxychloroquine, Zithromax and zinc have been named in the last few months as an effective prophylactic as well as a treatment for novel coronavirus. This information has come to light in a variety of outlets over the last few months. In the month of March, Dr. James M. Todaro co-authored a document that was later taken down by Google declaring chloroquine’s potential for treating COVID. The article, “An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus,”1 reports that the anti-malaria drug that has been in production since 1945 has been used in China and South Korea as an effective treatment for COVID-19. He further cites the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) own recommendation regarding hydroxychloroquine that the drug is safe even for pregnant women and children of all ages and even nursing mothers.
There is a significant amount of research surfacing in the recent weeks and months linking hydroxychloroquine and COVID. And then on July, 27 a group of twelve doctors brought together under a summit organized by the organization America’s Frontline Doctors took to the steps of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to deliver a letter signed by a total of 600 doctors to address their concerns relating to COVID-19. Among the doctors were James Todaro, Dan Erikson, Sophie Gold and Stella Immanuel. A 45-minute video2 of the summit’s presentation in front of the steps of the Supreme Courts building appeared on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter – three very large social media outlets. A shorter, 5-minute version of the video was accessed by over 17 million viewers in a 24 hour window before it was taken down by Youtube and Facebook.
In the shorter version of the summit video one Dr. Stella Immanuel appears and vehemently proclaims the use of hydroxychloroquine as a cure for COVID. “America, nobody needs to die. There is a cure for COVID. It’s called hydroxychloroquine. It’s called Zinc. It’s called Zythromax,”3 Dr. Immanuel exclaims. She further related that she and her clinicians have treated over 350 patients with COVID-19 and not one has died. She attributes the combination therapy for her clinician’s results. She further relates that she has used the treatment along with her medical staff as a prophylactic and none of her clinicians have fallen ill during their tenure during this pandemic. Perhaps it was due to these claims that the video went viral in such a short period of time.
So why bring up Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc and Zithromax? It is clear that there is more going on in this country than a debate about sick care. There are forces within the field of allopathic medicine that are arguing, in an attempt to control the narrative around safe medicine. We don’t have to worry about that debate. We don’t have to worry about who is right and who is wrong, or what treatment to prescribe to a sick patient. That’s not our job. Our job as chiropractors is keeping patients well. Our job as chiropractors is to help maximize the salutogenesis of a population so they will never need to turn to the medical industry for something as simple as the common cold. Let the powers within the medical industry argue and contend and finally show their true colors in this historic debate about sick care and pandemic preparedness. Meanwhile, let us continue to do what we do every day, keep people well, by removing interference so that Innate can manifest wellness.
The allopathic medical community is currently undergoing a conflict of interests in terms of how numbers are being reported, whether studies are being conducted ethically, how to look at the subject of a COVID vaccine. These are all issues that affect our patient populations. As chiropractors it is not our job to be concerned with how numbers are being reported or what guidelines the CDC tells a doctor use in regard to filling out a death certificate. What should concern us as Doctors of Chiropractic is having an understanding of the position our patients are in when they come into our offices looking for care. Often times they are seeking an alternative approach to sick care, and if we are lucky and we do our jobs correctly as educators, we can help them see the benefits of chiropractic as it relates to their wellbeing, and their wellness care. What we are dealing with in our profession is not a direct attack from a foreign invader. We are dealing with the byproduct of a broken allopathic model that has been hijacked by powers that are manipulating the public for power and control. We don’t have to cure COVID. We don’t have to cure the common cold. What we have to do is be sensitive during this confusing and very frustrating time so that we can continue to garner the trust our patients demand from wellness care practitioners. We have to create and hold safe space for people in sympathetic states so that we can deliver the message of chiropractic.
When a patient comes through our doors with concerns about a pandemic, if they are going to be open about receiving chiropractic care, we need to show them that we take their concerns seriously. As one patient of a chiropractor in Southern California recently reflected in confidence, she will never return to that particular doctor’s office again, because of the lack of consideration that chiropractor displayed by not following county guidelines for social distancing, mask-wearing and social distancing. Whether or not we agree with the guidelines under which we must operate, we still have to garner the confidence of our patients, future patients and the public if we want to be viewed as credible healthcare practitioners, let alone survive as a profession of chiropractors.
- Todaro, James M. Chloroquine (a malaria drug) maybe: An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19). MrTopStep.com. https://mrtopstep.com/elon-musk-says-maybe-an-effective-treatment-for-coronavirus-covid-19/. Published March 26, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020.
- America’s Frontline Doctors SCOTUS Press Conference Transcript. July, 27, 2020. https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/americas-frontline-doctors-scotus-press-conference-transcript